Sunday, November 29 begins the season of Advent, which lasts until the feast of Christmas. The word advent is from two Latin words meaning “coming to,” advent1and during Advent the Church remembers the two great “coming to us’s” of Christ: his first coming to us as a baby in a manger in Bethlehem, and his second coming to us as the Judge and King of the universe at the end of time. The latter is one of the reasons that judgment is a recurring Advent theme. While not a truly penitential season like Lent, Advent is a time of muted joy and expectation; hence the purple vestments and church hangings, the omission of the Gloria in excelsis from the Liturgy, and our use of the Merbecke setting of the Kyrie eleison and the Sanctus and Benedictus, which is more solemn than the Willan setting we use for most of the year.

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